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Steps to Request SAR Accommodations

Student Accessibility Resources (SAR) offers a variety of accommodations and services for students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low vision, mobility limitations, ADHD, psychiatric and medical conditions.


Steps to Requesting Accommodations

Students interested in obtaining accommodation services should begin the following steps. 

Step 1

Students requesting services must have applied and be admitted to the University of West Florida.

Step 2

Students will need to verify the need for accommodations (self-identify) by submitting an application and supporting medical documentation. 

 

Step 3

Students will need to complete a registration appointment with a SAR staff member.

Types of Academic Accommodations

Below you will find some of the types of academic accommodations available to you. If you do not see what you are looking for, please contact our office at 850.474.2387 so that we can share more about these resources and tools with you. 

Testing accommodations are changes to the regular testing environment and auxiliary aids and services that allow individuals with disabilities to demonstrate their true aptitude or achievement level on standardized exams or other final testing.

Testing Accommodation Guidelines:

  • The student must submit their Semester Request form each semester.
  • The student must meet with each instructor at the beginning of the semester to discuss academic accommodations in the course, including appropriate testing accommodations.
  • If the instructor is unable to provide testing accommodations, the student must submit a Test Request Form five (5) business days prior to the scheduled test date. The Semester Accommodation Request Form and the Test Request Form are available in MyUWF by searching for "SAR Accommodate - Student Portal."
  • Exams are administered at SAR during the scheduled class time unless prior notification of a different date/time is approved by the instructor. Depending on the availability of SAR space, make-up exams can be facilitated only during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • If a student is going to be late, the student must inform the SAR office in advance. If a student is more than 20 minutes late, the exam will be returned to the instructor. Testing time will not be adjusted if the student is late.
  • Only approved items will be allowed in the testing room. Students are required to bring their own writing utensils and paper.
  • Any student suspected of cheating will be required to stop testing. The exam and other materials will be collected by the SAR staff, and the instructor will be notified immediately.
  • Communication with other students, leaving the testing space, and frequent bathroom breaks are prohibited.

Read more about testing accommodations guidelines.

Note taking services can assist SAR registered students in recording and organizing information presented during a live lecture. It is not intended to substitute for the student's class attendance or participation.

Note Taking Guidelines:

  • Students are expected to attend class on a regular basis and to take notes to the best of their ability. If SAR is informed by an instructor or note-taker that a student has not attended class, the student will be contacted regarding class absences. Services to students who accumulate three notices will be suspended pending a meeting with the SAR Associate Director.
  • Notes are for students' use only. They are not to be duplicated and distributed to others. If SAR is informed that the student has distributed copies of his or her notes, the student will be given one written warning. If the student continues to distribute notes after the warning, services will be suspended pending a meeting with the Associate Director.
  • Students should not ask the note taker for additional services such as tutoring. If note takers inform SAR that additional services have been requested from them, a meeting with the student will be requested to reassess accommodations and make appropriate referrals.
  • Students should notify SAR immediately when the student has determined that note taking services are not needed for a particular course or if the student has withdrawn from a course for which notes were requested. Failure to notify SAR can result in suspension pending a meeting with the Director.

Read more about note taking services.

 

 

Interpreting services function as a verbal form of translation that is facilitated by a professional interpreter. Interpretation services are used to translate speeches, presentations, conversations, and other spoken languages into the native or preferred language of a given audience.

Interpretive Service Guidelines:

Missing classes without notifying the SAR staff constitutes a financial burden to the University and will result in the suspension of interpreter services. Students who accumulate three (3) or more non-emergency no-shows during a given semester will have services suspended for all classes pending a meeting with the Associate Director to discuss circumstances surrounding the absences. Extenuating circumstances and individual issues will be discussed, and the Associate Director will make the final determination for suspension of services and/or reinstatement. Failure to meet and discuss the absences with the Associate Director will result in an immediate suspension of services.

Read more about interpretive services.

There are Assistve Technology and service options available for SAR registered students. Please meet with a SAR Staff member to determine the best resources for you.

Assistive Technology and Service Options available:

  • Scribes: Scribes are available for testing. They will write down verbatim what is dictated to them.
  • Readers: Readers are available to assist with reading exams.
  • Enlarged text: Exams and class materials can be enlarged to accommodate specific vision impairments.
  • Preferential seating: Preferential seating is available for qualified students with hearing impairment or psychological disorders.
  • Digital/tape recorder: Digital/tape recorder is available for qualified students who need to record lectures to review at a later time.
  • Reduced Course Load: Reduced course load of not less than nine (9) hours while maintaining a full time status

Read more about assistive technology and other services.

For additional information about specific accommodations, please contact the SAR at 850.474.2387.

Individuals enrolled in continuing education courses can request accommodations by completing the Continuing Education Accommodation Request Form.

Read more about what is available in Continuing Education.

Students with documented disabilities are eligible to request special status, which, if approved, would allow them to take a reduced course load of not less than nine (9) hours while maintaining full-time status, so long as the reduced course load does not affect the academic integrity of the program in which the student is enrolled. The University Financial Aid Office is responsible for determining the amount and type of financial aid received. The student must contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how this accommodation might affect their financial aid status. It is recommended that students meet with a financial aid officer prior to withdrawing from any courses.

To be considered for temporary services, students must complete the following steps:

  • Submit a Temporary Services Application
  • Schedule an appointment with the SAR staff
  • Bring documentation of your temporary condition to your appointment, which:
    • from a licensed or certified professional who is qualified to diagnose and treat the specific condition
    • professional letterhead
    • clearly states the condition and explains the functional limitations the condition imposes in the academic setting
    • states accommodations the student will need

Read more about Temporary Services with SAR.


Housing Accommodations

Student Accessibility Resources (SAR) works in partnership with Housing and Residence Life (HRL) to ensure equal access to all students within University housing. Individuals with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation, including the allowance of an assistance or service animal in University housing. Students requesting reasonable accommodation will engage in an interactive process to find the best accommodation to meet the student's needs on a case-by-case basis.

The procedure for making accommodation requests are outlined below. Please contact our office at sar@uwf.edu  or call 850.474.2387 if you require assistance with emergency evacuation in University Housing to discuss an emergency evacuation plan. 

Deadlines to submit Housing Accommodation Requests to SAR
  • Fall: May 1
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: April 1
Please Note
  • Late requests will be considered but cannot be guaranteed. Students should expect an average of a 30 days review period for animal requests to allow adequate coordination between SAR and HRL and proper notification of roommates.  
  • Animals should not be brought to campus until final approval is received and the accommodation request is approved. Students could be subject to fines for unapproved animals per UWF Housing and Residence Life policies and procedures (UNIVERSITY POLICY P-19.02-06/21). 
Steps for Housing Accommodations 

Students requesting accommodations in Housing and Residence Life will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Housing and Residence Life contract.
  2. Submit a completed Housing Accommodation request for Request for Reasonable Accommodations to Student Accessibility Resources to sar@uwf.edu, fax 850.474.2250, or in-person in Building 19, Room 100D
  3. Contact Student Accessibility Resources with any questions at 850.474.2387 during this process. 
  4. Students will be informed via email of the final determination within 30 days after all completed and required documentation is submitted.

Students requesting a Service or Assistance Animal for campus Housing will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Housing and Residence Life contract
  2. Submit the appropriate Housing Accommodation Request form: 
  3. The Healthcare section of the form should include information about the student’s diagnosis, functional limitations, and how the animal will assist/serve the student and should be completed by a licensed healthcare provider.  
  4. Once the Accommodation Request has been reviewed and approved, SAR will notify the student and HRL staff. SAR will send the student the owner's Rights and Responsibilities, which will need to be signed by the student and includes the listing of two emergency contacts who reside off-campus.
  5. SAR will then notify HRL staff of the accommodation approval.
  6. HRL staff will then reach out to the student to obtain veterinary records and gather information about the animal (ownership of the animal, species, breed, weight of animal, color, name of animal, age, gender/evidence of spay/neuter, vaccinations/good health, etc.). 
  7. Besides the form, students will need to include Animal Records (that include owner information, species, breed, weight of animal, color, name of animal, age, gender/evidence of spay/neuter, vaccinations/good health, etc.). 
  8. Once the Accommodation Request and Animal Records are reviewed, SAR In addition, the HRL staff will send the student the Owner’s Rights and Responsibilities form, which should include two emergency contacts who reside off-campus and agree to take possession of the animal in the event of an emergency.
  9. SAR will then notify HRL staff of the accommodation approval.
  10. HRL staff will contact roommates (if applicable) and determine if there are any conflicting medical conditions that would be impacted by the presence of an animal.
  11. HRL staff will notify the student via email once they are approved to bring the animal to campus.


Animal and Housing Accommodation FAQs

Housing accommodations vary by the needs of each student but could include the following, among others:

      • Visual doorbell
      • ADA accessible room
      • Medical refrigerator (for medications)
      • Additional space due to medical equipment
      • Ground floor or lower floor room
      • Allergen free room/suite
      • Assistance or emotional support animal

As defined in University Policy P-19.02-06-21   

  • Assistance Animals. As defined by the FHA, Assistance Animals are animals that work, provide assistance, or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability or animals that provide emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Assistance Animals perform many disability-related functions, including but not limited to guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures, or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support. Some animals, but not all that assist persons with disabilities are professionally trained. Other assistance animals are trained by the owners themselves, and, in some cases, no special training is required. The question is whether or not the animal performs the assistance or provides the benefit needed as a reasonable accommodation by the person with the disability. AssistanceAnimals are not considered Service Animals and are not permitted in public spaces, classrooms or workplaces.
  • Emotional Support Animal. An animal whose sole function is to provide emotional support. Emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals and are not permitted on campus except to the extent the animals are considered Assistance Animals under the FHA
  • Service Animal. As defined by the ADAAA, Service Animals are dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task an animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability and must always be with and under the control of the Eligible Person. The Service Animal may not be left unattended. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADAAA.
  • Service Animal-in-Training (SAIT). A dog undergoing training by a trainer. To qualify as a service animal, a dog must already be trained. Until training has finished, a dog is considered a SAIT. SAITs are not service animals under the ADA or ADAAA. To qualify as a service animal, a dog must already be trained. Until a dog is trained, the SAIT cannot be taken into public places as a service animal unless it is in the process of training by a trainer in compliance with Florida Statute § 413.08. Otherwise, individuals should seek accommodation through the process outlined above to have a SAIT on campus.

Per University Policy P-19.02-06-21

  • Service Animal Access to Public Places. UWF generally allows Service Animals in all public places to which the general public is invited when a Service Animal is accompanied by an individual with a disability or a trainer of the Service Animal. Students with a disability may bring Service Animals to classrooms, labs or other academic areas necessary to facilitate their academic program as an academic accommodation without seeking formal approval through Student Accessibility Resources or other registration processes. However, students who utilize Service Animals on campus and anticipate bringing the Service Animal to the classroom or labs are encouraged but not required to register with the Student Accessibility Resources to work through any potential access or safety issues in the classroom and especially the lab spaces. UWF wants to make sure that the Eligible Person, other students and the members of the department are able to provide that opportunity without endangering the safety of the Eligible Person, other students, or the animal.
  • Service Animal Voluntary Registration. Individuals with a service animal on campus are encouraged, although not required, to register with the University. Students should register a service animal in order to provide the best environment for the service animals and in case of emergency for the health and safety of everyone, including the animals. Students should register with Student Accessibility Resources.
  • Additional Accommodations for Service Animals. In the event that an individual seeks an additional accommodation for a Service Animal, such as the Service Animal is needed in residence halls or office areas not open to the general public, the Service Animal must be registered as an accommodation with the appropriate office and through the same process as provided below for assistance animals. If seeking additional accommodation, UWF does require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.

Per University Policy P-19.02-06-21 and University Housing Accommodations Procedure 

Eligible Person. A person with a disability who, because of a functional limitation of his/her disabling condition, requires a Service Animal to perform a task or function. Includes persons with a disability who, because of a functional limitation of the individual’s disabling condition, requires a Service Animal in order to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy student housing at UWF.

Responsible Party. Any person who owns the animal, brings the animal to campus, is training a service animal or is an Eligible Person as defined in section III.C of University Policy P-19.01-01/20 (there may be more than one Responsible Party and each or all may be held fully responsible for the animal). For Service Animal in Training ("SAIT"), the Responsible Party is the animal's trainer and owner, and for Service Animals, the Responsible Party is the Eligible Person as defined by this Policy and the owner.

Responsibilities and General Guidelines

      • Eligible persons are only permitted one animal per documented disability need. 
      • Animals must be registered, vaccinated and/or must comply with legal requirements set by the local, state or federal government.
      • Assistance Animals must be contained within the private residential area (room, suite, and/or apartment) at all times except when transported outside the private residential area in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness. Assistance Animals are not permitted in University public spaces, classrooms, or workplaces unless they also meet the definition of Service Animal as provided by law and as permitted as part of an academic accommodation.
      • The Responsible Party must clean up all animal waste and dispose of that waste in outdoor trash receptacles. Animal waste is not to be disposed of in indoor trash receptacles.
      • Animals may not be left overnight in University Housing to be cared for by any individual other than the Responsible Party. For example, if the Responsible Party is to be absent from his/her residence hall overnight or longer, the animal must accompany the Responsible Party. The Responsible Party is required to ensure that the animal is contained, as appropriate, when the Responsible Party is not present during the day while attending classes or other activities.
      • In parts of the campuses where animals may be permitted, such animals must be kept securely controlled by a harness or leash not to exceed ten (10) feet in length (unless there is an exception granted based on disability). Animals are not permitted to run at large on any streets, unimproved lots or premises within the boundaries of UWF properties. Animals should not be tethered and left unattended.
      • The Responsible Party shall bear the full costs associated with any injury to persons, or damage to property, caused by a service or assistance animal and bear full liability for any action of the animal.
      • All animals must not be unruly, disruptive, in ill health or unclean. An animal may be removed from UWF property if the animal is a direct threat to the health and safety of others or if the animal is disruptive or out of control. UWF may temporarily or permanently exclude any animal at the discretion of the facilities manager, UWF Environmental Health and Safety ("EH&S") or emergency personnel.
      • An animal left unattended in a vehicle or any other area is to be reported to the UWF Police Department for an appropriate response. A person who leaves an animal unattended may face additional consequences
      • If an animal disrupts the University educational process, administrative processes, or other campus functions, the Responsible Party must remove the animal immediately. In addition, the owner or responsible party will be held liable for any damage to the person or property caused by the animal's presence on the property.
      • Removal of dead or injured animals is the responsibility of the Responsible Party; however, in the event immediate action is necessary, the facilities manager may take appropriate action to remove the animal. Any and all costs associated with such removal will, when possible, be at the Responsible Party's expense.

Additional Expectations

    • Animals must wear a collar (if appropriate) with a tag that includes the Responsible Party's name and contact number.
    • If the animal is a dog, the dog must be housebroken (no training pads permitted) and kennel trained.
    • In the case of an emergency, the University is not responsible for evacuating the animal.
    • The living accommodation must be kept clean with no odors from the Animals. The living accommodation may be inspected for fleas, ticks, or other pests if necessary. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the living accommodation will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The Responsible Party will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in University housing. The University shall have the right to bill the Responsible Party's account for unmet obligations under this provision.
    • The Animal is permitted in University housing only as long as it is necessary due to a disability. The Eligible Person must notify the University, in writing, if the animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence by emailing housing@uwf.edu and sar@uwf.edu. To replace an animal, the Eligible person must submit a new request to demonstrate that the new animal is necessary due to the Eligible Person's disability.
    • If it is necessary for the animal to be removed from the University housing premises, the Responsible Party may be obligated to fulfill the Housing and Residence Life Contract obligations for the remainder of the HRL Contract term.
    • Roommates will sign a roommate agreement to ensure that there are no conflicting medical conditions (i.e. respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) that would be impacted by the animal living within the residence.  The University expressly reserves the right to consider the needs of both parties in order to reasonably accommodate anyone whose disability will be impacted by living in proximity to an Animal.
    • The Responsible Party must provide contact information for a minimum of two alternative caregiver/emergency contacts who will take responsibility of the Animal and remove it from campus should the Responsible Party be unable to care for it (i.e. accident, hospitalization).  The caregiver/emergency contact must reside OFF campus and must be available to remove the Animal in a timely manner appropriate for the animal species and needed care. Dogs must be removed within 6 hours. All other animals must be removed in no more than 12 hours.  In instances where it is determined the Animal is not being cared for, the University reserves the right to have the animal removed from University housing to ensure the immediate health and well-being of the animal. The University may have an Animal removed from University housing if it is not removed in a timely manner as specified by this procedure.

Per University Policy P-19.02-06-21 

Assistance Animal Accommodation Factors

UWF may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the animal is reasonable or in making housing assignments for individuals with Assistance Animals:

  1. size is too large for available assigned housing space;
  2. presence would force another individual from housing (e.g. conflicting disabilities);
  3. presence otherwise violates an individual's right to peace and quiet enjoyment;
  4. not housebroken or is unable to live with others in a reasonable manner;
  5. vaccinations are not up-to-date;
  6. poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others, such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others; or
  7. causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear.

The accommodation approval is specific to the animal, which has been listed in the documentation and appropriate veterinary records. A new request must be submitted if the student wishes to change animals from the original request.


To request this page or any information referenced on the page in an alternative format, please email sar@uwf.edu.